The Azores recorded a record number of passenger arrivals at airports in 2022, with more than 1.8 million, according to data revealed by the regional statistics service (SREA).
Between January and December last year 1,842,460 passengers landed at Azorean airports, 138,639 more (8.1%) than in 2019, the year before the Covid-19 pandemic, in which the highest number of arrivals had been recorded in the region, according to SREA data consulted by Lusa, which starts in 1986.
After a sharp drop in 2020, due to the pandemic, with 638,821 arrivals, the region recorded a recovery in 2021, with 1,181,896 arrivals. Compared to the same period, there was an increase of 55.9% in 2022.
“All islands show positive variations in passenger arrivals compared to the previous year. The one with the highest variation is São Miguel, with 64.3% and, for the first time, exceeds one million passengers who disembarked,” reads the SREA publication.
The second island with the biggest increase was Terceira (56.9%), followed by Pico (47.5%), Faial (42.2%), Santa Maria (36.1%), Graciosa (27.7%), Flores (26.3%), São Jorge (24.1%) and Corvo (16.6%).
By type of flight, landings from inter-island flights were the most important, in 2022, with a total of 827,868 passengers, 36.6% more than in the previous year.
However, international flights registered the greatest increase in comparison with the previous year (218,2%), with more than three times as many passengers disembarking (198,387).
Passengers coming from flights from the Portuguese mainland and Madeira registered an increase of 58,9%, to 816,205.
The year-on-year growth was registered in all months of 2022.
Regarding the month of December, whose data were released today (Monday), there was a “positive variation of 26.4% compared to the same month of the previous year” and 20.8% compared to December 2019, with 118,819 passengers disembarked.
As for embarking passengers, 112,831, there was “a positive variation of 19.9% compared to December 2019 and 25.3% compared to the same month of 2021”.